CNN is amending the criteria for the second Republican presidential debate, scheduled for Sept. 16, the news organization reported. The changes in criteria could result in Republican candidate Carly Fiorina being able to join the other candidates ranked at the top of the polls.
The next debate will be held at the Ronald Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California.
"In the event that any candidate is polling in the top 10 in an average of approved national polls released between August 7th and September 10th, we will add those candidates to our top tier debate, even if those candidates did not poll in the top 10 in an average of approved national polls between July 16th and September 10th," CNN said in a statement.
The criteria for the GOP debate is being reworked due to a low number of national public polling since the first Republican date, held Aug. 6 in Cleveland, CNN reported. So far, there have been only three new national polls to determine the lineup for the second GOP debate.
The network acknowledged that from August through mid-September in 2007, there were 16 polls released, and during that same period in 2011, 15 polls had been released.
"We learned this week that there will likely be only two more polls by the deadline of Sept. 10,” CNN said in a statement. “In a world where we expected there to be at least 15 national polls, based on historic precedent, it appears there will be only five. As a result, we now believe we should adjust the criteria to ensure the next debate best reflects the most current state of the national race."
All the candidates who average in the top 10 on surveys from July 16, which was the original threshold, will be included in the second GOP debate, Time reported. If the eligibility window for the second debate were to have closed Tuesday, CNN’s analysis of polls conducted from July 16 would include Republican candidates Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, John Kasich and Chris Christie in the top-tier debate. Under the new criteria, Carly Fiorina would be included.
Fiorina saw a surge of popularity after performing well in the GOP “happy hour” debate last month. Her campaign had aggressively lobbied for the rules to be amended in order for her to be allowed on stage at the next debate.
"I applaud CNN for recognizing the historic nature of this debate and fully support the network's decision to amend their criteria,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus
The candidates who will take the stage for the second GOP debate will not be known until the eligibility window closes Sept. 10.